Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Iran and Iraq: Bush Administration Stupid, Deluded, or Lying?

So, today a second US aircraft carrier has entered the Persian Gulf to "send a message to Iran," presumably about their supposedly bad behavior in Iraq. However, Juan Cole reports today that a major spokesman in Najaf for Moqtada al-Sadr, the figure the Iranians are supposedly supporting and arming against the al-Maliki government has just denounced Iran for supporting the long-term security agreement in negotiation between the al-Maliki and Bush governments, although this denunciation was in Arabic in an Arabic newspaper. This supports Cole's long-time contention that Iran is more closely allied with al-Maliki and his ally, al-Hakim, who leads the SIIC, and spent many years in exile in Tehran. In the meantime the NY Times reports that there has not been any increased flow of arms from Iran to Iraq and that it appears that they arm many militias on all sides, also a contention of Cole's (

So, the question is: Are the Bush people unable to read Arabic and therefore do not know what they are doing? Are they being consciously taken in by al-Maliki and his allies (perhaps because those guys speak English and the al-Sadr people do not),who are telling them that they are not allied with Iran, when they clearly are? Or are they consciously lying about what is going on to provide an excuse for beating up on Iran over its nonexistent nuclear weapons program or to provide election fodder for McCain by whipping up anti-Iran war hysteria based on garbage?


Bruce Webb said...

Barkley correlate the signatories to the PNAC Statement of Principles with those of their 1997 Letter to President Clinton urging violent regime change in Iraq and all of this is out in the open. They might as well put up billboards advertising 'We'll take out Saddam, and then the Ayatollahs in Iran, and then that rat bastard Assad in Syria and then both Hezbollah and Hamas!!'

Well yeah we get it and it some cases don't disagree that it wouldn't be a horrible result but neither would me hitting MegaMillions. Hope is not a plan.

Jonathan said...

Dr. Rosser,

Glad to have finally found your blog after searching for awhile.

Jonathan (former student)

Jack said...

Let me suggest a slight revision to your question, more along the line of a multiple choice:
Bush administration is;
A) stupid, B) deluded,
C) lying, D) all of the above. said...


That gives c) as an answer. Clearly there are some elements in the admin. who are part of what you cite, although a number of those folks have since disappeared or been downgraded.


Glad you did.


Yeah, I almost included your d) as an answer. As jp can tell you, I always put either an "All of the above" or a "None of the above" as an answer on my multiple choice exams, much to the annoyance of most students, more frequently the second. But that would clearly not be a correct answer. In fact I do think it is d), although this may be a matter of some of them doing one of these while others are doing others. The administration is not a monolith.


Bruce Webb said...

Barkley if you examine the signatories you see that not all of them were included in official government positions. Any number of them including the Kagans the Podhoretz's and Bill Kristol were left to push the message from the outside, much as Bolton is now.

As I happy that Wolfowitz, Bolton and Feith are not formally at the table? Well yeah, but it is not like they have gone away, you can rarely pick up a newspaper that is not quoting one or the other. If Feith had retreated to his rustic cabin for a prolonged period of introspection it would be one thing, instead TFSGOTFOTP Doug wrote himself a book exculpating him and the rest of the PNAC boys and urging action against Iraq.

The warmongers haven't gone away, they have just changed desk assignments. said...

Well, the neocons are clearly justu plain out liars and propagandists, and you are right that they continue to have a very strong voice in the MSM.

Unfortunately, Wolfie is back, now as overseer of Arms Control at State, which puts him in a position to spread propaganda about Iran and its nonexistent nuclear weapons program, although he is not as powerful as he was as DOD DepSec. There are some who never left, such as Elliott Abrams, although they tend to be lower tier.

The really nasty liars still in place are Cheney and his COS, Addington, who is a real viper or adder, or something, total scum, down there with the now (fortunately) absent John Yoo. Of course, it is not quite clear if Cheney counts as a neocon or something else, but he is clearly a lying war hawk of the worst sort.


Myrtle Blackwood said...

"In fact I do think it is d) [all of the above].

Wrong, Barkley. Ask Gore Vidal. I have just this minute finished watching him being interviewed on the Australian Broadcasting Commission's 'Lateline' show.

Gore says throw in the dimwit American public as well.

He is so truthful he's incredibly funny! said...


(And good to have you back). Wrong? So which of the three has the Bush administration not exhibited in this particular fiasco: stupidity, delusion, or lying?

(I am not ruling out some of the first two on the part of large parts of the US public who buy into large parts of this nonsense.)


Myrtle Blackwood said...

Good to be bahhhk, Bahhhrk :}}

Shag from Brookline said...

Bill Moyers' interview over the weekend on PBS of Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky, authors of "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" (published this past March), was a hoot; they came up with the College of Expertology that helps explain how Bush explained his foreign policy. Satire isn't dead.